ABOUT A WEEK AGO, 33 women Faculty members and administrators wrote to President Bok, urging that the University give higher priority to its Affirmative Action program. The letter was unique because the signers included both women who hold Corporation appointments and women salary and wage employees. We support their effort.
The University's Affirmative Action program is, in a sense, a legal contract between Harvard and the Federal government. We demand not only that the University assure us of its commitment to the guidelines regarding the employment and promotion of women, but that it take immediate action toward the implementation of these goals.
We firmly believe that the Administration should, as the women suggest, make the government's Affirmative Action requirements readily available to the public. All faculties, schools and departments should inform women members, in writing, of their rights under University policy and the procedures for appeal that serve to insure that this policy is implemented.
The University must take moral leadership in reversing what the signers of the letter called "old attitudes and traditional procedures," the latter of which they termed "informal and simply 'understood."'
We, like the women who wrote to Bok, encourage the development of constructive plans to improve the status of women and "the quality of education throughout the University" in general.
But since quality education is impossible without improving the status of women, we demand that the University take affirmative action to hire many more women, and that the women employed by the University receive the rewards--in money and position--traditionally accorded their male colleagues.